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CIJ Custom 72 Telecaster upgrade ?


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  • CIJ Custom 72 Telecaster upgrade ?

    Hey, I've got that stock 1994 Custom 72 CIJ Telcaster. I've done all the required adjustments as far as playability and pickups (height, pole pieces). It has a deep ballsy yet twangy tone with both pickup engaged (bridge with tone and volume slightly rolled off, otherwise it's kind of harsh).

    Here are the current shortcomings I'd like to address :

    - Humbucker tone pot works like an on/off thing : 0-1 = treble off, 2-10 = full on

    - With both pickups engaged, each volume pot mutes both pickups when rolled off to zero.


    Again, I kind of like the combination of the ceramic japanese wide range pickup and the stock bridge pickup.

    I'd consider changing these if it would really bring the guitar to a whole new level.


    Pots are 500k for the HB and 250k for the SC.

    It seems to me that rewiring the volume pots and upgrading the humbuckers tone pot should improve the tone and general versatility of this Tele.

    I have considered splitting the humbucker but my purpose is not to make this axe mimic the tone of a standard Tele (I already have a regular Tele).

    Any thoughts about cheap and effective upgrades? Thanks for reading.

  • #2

    I've found a mod wiring online and changed reversed lugs 1 and 2 on each volume pots (see picture at the end). Thanks to this mod, the volume pots are now independant. I've also reajusted the pickup height. The guitar sounds good, with a little more overall balance. The only really usable position is still with both pickups. I guess that is the nature of these beasts..



    • mschafft
      mschafft commented
      Editing a comment

      I've also slightly raised the action (2 mm at 12th fret), which improves tone and bends with the vintage radius fretboard (7.25). I'm happy with the wiring mod although it didin't bring any dramatic change except that I don't get the massive volume drop I used to get when one volume pot got into the 1-4 zone.

      My pickup specs :

      HB : 2/16

      SC: 3/32


      Thanks for reading. This thread is a lonely place, but I hope it might be helpful to some Custom 72 players googling this stuff. I'll attach the wiring scheme just in case. All the best guys, thanks for reading.


  • #3
    Thanks for this. The original WR are quite pricey these days. Have you had a chance to play one? Do they sound all jazzy without highs like the reisues do (at the Japanese version) ? My new setup has more twang and the tone is more consistent than before so I'll probably keep it like it is for a while. Plus the reviews about the new American reissue seem to indicate that it sounds just like the Japanese one. Which BTW led me into believing that all those new pickups aim at capturing the sound of an originally beefy without much highs WR. That famous Seth Lover creation...